Cardio Source Logo Individuals following a Mediterranean style diet may eat fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and low-fat dairy products on a daily basis. Apart from lowering diabetes risk, this type of dietary pattern is also known to avert asthma and allergies. A recent study claims that Mediterranean diet keeps the heart healthy. It seems to have beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome and also individual components such as waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol levels, triglycerides levels, blood pressure levels and glucose metabolism.

In order to conduct the study, scientists conducted a meta-analysis that comprised results of 50 studies on the Mediterranean diet, with an overall studied population of about half a million people. The Mediterranean diet apparently reduces mortality from all causes, decreases threat of cardiovascular disease, obesity and some types of cancer as well. It is also believed to produce positive outcomes on abdominal obesity, lipids levels, glucose metabolism and blood pressure levels.

“The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is increasing rapidly throughout the world, in parallel with the increasing incidence of diabetes and obesity, and is now considered a major public health problem,” commented lead investigator Demosthenes Panagiotakos, Ph.D., associate professor in Biostatistics-Epidemiology of Nutrition, Department of Science of Dietetics – Nutrition, Harokopio University of Athens. “Additionally, the metabolic syndrome is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease (directly or indirectly), associated with personal and socio-economic burdens. As a result, prevention of this condition is of considerable importance.”

Scientists focused on systematically evaluating the benefits of Mediterranean diet through a large meta-analysis. It was concluded that this dietary pattern possibly has a strong impact on the development and progression of metabolic syndrome. Awareness about the health benefits on adopting a dietary pattern like the Mediterranean diet can apparently aid in developing public health strategies for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.

The study is published in the March 15, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.